Syria: Can Tweets Prevent a Massacre?

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

Following the worst day of violence Syria has seen since protests broke out across the country in February, Syrian opposition and their supporters around the world have begun an attempt to raise global awareness of events in the country, utilizing a hashtag, #RamadanMassacre, that was started on Sunday to keep track of reports from the city of Hama.

@nmoawad, from Lebanon, summed up the purpose of the campaign in a tweet early Monday morning:

Join us in raising awareness by tweeting using the hashtag #RamadanMassacre for #Hama | 2am Cairo Time

Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff depicts Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad atop a tank

Syrian Twitter user @LeShaque shared his thoughts:

I'll leave it to my Kurdish compatriots to provide you with a list of massacres they've suffered at the hands of Assads. #RamadanMassacre

@BachaarArnaout offered a tweet of support to Syrian protesters:

Since march, +2000 have been killed by #Assad in #Syria but the brave people are determined to topple the regime. #RamadanMassacre

An avatar in remembrance of Sunday's events in Hama, used by Twitter users

An avatar in remembrance of Sunday's events in Hama, used by Twitter users

Utilizing an avatar created for remembrance of Sunday's events in Hama, US-based @ran00n95 posted in solidarity:


u will not silence us we the world know what u have done and we will not stay silent and let it continue #RamadanMassacre #Syria

@rallaf issued a call to Muslim readers, asking:

What did you have for Iftar today? #Hama residents had tank shells. #RamadanMassacre #Syria

But in response to a tweet from @zmossabasha that stated, “A tweet can prevent a massacre!!”, NPR journalist Andy Carvin asked, “Can it?”, echoing the sentiment of many who have suggested that, while social media can most certainly expand awareness, it may have little impact on events in countries like Syria, where the state clearly has the upper hand.

Nevertheless, the campaign continues, as Syrian opposition and their supporters attempt to get the #RamadanMassacre hashtag to trend on Twitter's trending topics list.

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.


  • […] just published a post over on Global Voices with the same headline, specifically quoting Syrian opposition and their supporters, who have been […]

  • Important question.

    A popular hypothesis is that if we had YouTube and video-enabling mobile phones in World War 2, 60 million people wouldn’t have died.

    We underestimate the power of public outrage, and the power of modern communication tools in distributing the horrors that cause it.

    Twitter and YouTube might not be able to stop Assad (clearly), but it can cause enough widespread outrage that galvanises individuals and activists.

    Will it prevent Assad from bombing Hama? Perhaps not. Will it prevent him from slaughtering 20,000 as his father did in the same city? Quite possibly.

    There’s probably no doubt many in Syria’s military circles would like to repeat those acts of 1982, but new media has made it difficult for them to commit such crimes without the world watching. And that can make a lot of difference.

  • […] will support those displaying similar courage around the world today.If you’d like to help, please consider tweeting with the hashtag #RamadanMassacre to bring greater global awareness. That’s one of the requests from Syrian and Lebanese […]

  • […] convertir el tema en Trending Topic. Precisamente en Global Voices Jillian C. York se pregunta si: ¿Pueden los Tweets prevenir una masacre?, en relación con la creación de esta etiqueta. La campaña en Twitter se ha vinculado a la […]

  • […] will Tweet-zapping be called for in places like Syria, where users rallied underneath a hashtag #RamadanMassacre in August, to move tellurian recognition to a savagery of a Syrian supervision they protested? If […]

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